Magazine article Anglican Journal

Lay Ministry 'A Life's Journey' for Kamloops Senior

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Lay Ministry 'A Life's Journey' for Kamloops Senior

Article excerpt

Kamloops, B.C.--"I'm one of the older lay ministers--I've been doing it since before they even called us lay ministers; O'Della Grundy said with a chuckle, while going over an order of service she will use for a memorial later in the day. "When I talk about ministry to seniors, my daughter always says, 'Mom, you are one!'"

Grundy is a parishioner at St. George's Anglican Church in Kamloops, but she also has an extensive ministry of her own to the city's seniors. And given that 16.2% of Kamloopsians are over 65 (almost 2% more than the Canadian average), and that this percentage is projected to increase over the next 15 years, it is a vital area of ministry in which to be involved.

"In Kamloops, we are like the hub of a big wheel; Grundy said, explaining that seniors will often move to Kamloops from more remote communities so as to be closer to the hospital. "We have many seniors' facilities, whether it is for assisted living or full-time care"

While it is true that, in her mid-70s, Grundy occasionally finds herself performing memorial services for people who are younger than she is, she keeps very busy, offering regular services at three different seniors' residences and facilities across the city. Last year alone, she performed 44 memorials--many of which included tributes to several individuals, and many of which had been written, prepared and compiled by Grundy herself.

"When I first started, everything was on a single sheet of paper. So if you had three hymns, that was three pieces of paper, and then you've got your service [sheet]. Some of the seniors can only use one hand; some of them can't see; she said. "You had all kinds of problems, and it was driving me crazy So I've made up a book. I've got about 30 copies, and I take this with me everywhere."

Being able to adapt to the very different needs of an older group of worshippers has been key, Grundy noted. "It's one of those things that unless you're doing it, you have no idea what the needs are."

An added complexity is that many of the seniors with whom she works are not Anglicans. She stressed that "you have to be aware of everybody, and open to anything happening" to minister effectively to everyone. …

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